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South Korea Aims to Make 1.2 Million Hybrid, Electric Cars

South Korea aims to build 1.2 million electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles in the country by 2015 as part of efforts to reduce emissions.

The government, which provided an update of its earlier plan made in September, plans to export 900,000 of the vehicles from the country and bring their total domestic market share to 21 percent by 2015, according to an e-mailed statement from the Ministry of Knowledge Economy and the Ministry of Environment.

South Korean automotive companies may invest about 3.1 trillion won ($2.7 billion) in technologies for electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles in the five years starting 2011, the statement said. The government referred to vehicles that will be produced by Hyundai Motor Co., Kia Motors Corp., GM Daewoo Auto & Technology Co. and Renault Samsung Motors Co.

Kia, South Korea’s second-largest carmaker, aims to build 2,000 electric vehicles and its affiliate Hyundai plans to produce 500 units of the BlueOn electric car by the end of 2012, the Seoul-based companies said in September.

The government said in September it aims to produce 1 million electric vehicles in the country by 2020 and may give tax benefits to buyers. It said today the government may review giving tax breaks to electric-car buyers from 2012, instead of from 2013 as previously considered, according to the statement.

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